Adventures in first build land... 101?? no, 011 is more like it.

So I'm nearing the end of my first build and with it's many flaws, I'm still proud of it and I will hand it with much pride to my youngest son -- and hope with all my heart that he doesn't turn and swing it at his brother's head -- LOL, think I'm jokin'?.

I'm learning a lot w/ this build... like, how hard it is to work with purple heart(!!), damn shit is only slightly softer than concrete and will splinter whenever it damn well feels like it!! Now I remember why I have so much of this stuff left and sitting in a closet for 8 yrs!!

It's a beautiful wood, but a pain to work with hand tools (at least for me) and add to the fact that the dust is an irritant -- skin/eyes for some people (including me), lungs for many... I wear a mask whenever I saw/sand this stuff.

other things --

*I need to make more jigs and setup proper stations (w/ clamps, jigs, etc prepared) before preforming an action that could mar/ruin something that I've been working on. I learned that little gem when I drilled holes in the neck for purple heart fret markers. The drill bit would sometimes slide a few mm out of line. I should've setup a drill guide or template which would've made short work of this simple task w/o adding anymore 'character' (yea, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it) to my build.

By the time I realized that I needed to press much harder on the drill bit before beginning -- I had created a crooked road, for a crooked man with a crooked smile.


*Next time, I'll spend more time planning the build before hand -- knowing more of what I want to do. I started this build with just an idea and the desire to get started. After spending a couple of weeks on this I find myself going into more detail... detail that I wish I had thought of earlier so I wouldn't spend so much time doing things over again and/or wasting materials.

I think you can do that without killing spur of the moment creativity.


*I'll make sure that for my next build that I have everything to complete it before I start. I had most of the raw materials but no strings, tuners. Missing some tools/materials and a work-area (now prepared) that could have moved this along with momentum.

... there are some other things, but it's 4:30am and my mind is has already gotten up and climbed into bed and is just waiting for my body to join...

yea, who am I kiddin'... the mind is already asleep and could really give a crap where the body crashes-out.

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Comment by Tres Seaver on December 23, 2009 at 11:26am
I know what you mean about planning better: I think that most of the time, I don't do enough planning, and then end up frustrated by a roadblock that I could have foreseen and prevented with a little more thought. I know my skills are improving, too, as a build more instruments: I've gotten a *lot* better at shaping necks and headstocks, even in the course of the past six months.
Comment by Nathan King on December 22, 2009 at 10:25pm
Yeah, the first ones are always a learning experience. For that matter, so are the 2nd, 3rd, 4th.... :-)

The good thing is, there is always something else to learn. Once you learn everything there is to know... well, that's the fun in that?

I hear ya about the purple heart, too. It's mighty finicky to work with, in my experience.

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